This unforgettable journey by road and railway takes you from Quito down through the Valley of the Volcanoes and on to Guayaquil via the magnificent Devil’s Nose.
Highlights: Quito – Cotopaxi National Park – The Devil’s Nose – Guayaquil
Accommodation: First Class hotels or upgrade to deluxe hotels and haciendas.
Arrive in to Quito and transfer from the airport to your hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a tour of the city, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your city tour will take in the key highlights of the city, including the Plaza de la Independencia and the Basilica with its impressive gargoyles.
Depart Quito early to drive north towards Otavalo, Ecuador’s most famous market. From here, board a steam train to San Roque. There will be a stop at a Textile Museum and woodcarving workshops. Travel back to Quito by road, with a stop at Cayambe to visit a rose plantation and a traditional Andean lunch.
Transfer to Quito Chimbacalle station for the journey south along the Avenue of Volcanoes, where you can spot up to twenty volcanoes from the train. At El Boliche, near the Cotopaxi volcano, there is an opportunity for a short-hike along an Andean forest trail. With lunch onboard, the train will climb up the Andean highlands to Urbina, located at 11,800 feet above sea level (3595m). At Urbina, all being well, there will be a chance to meet Baltazar Ushca, the last ice-collector of Mount Chimborazo. Continue to Riobamba station and transfer to your hotel.
Depart Riobamba for the journey by steam train towards Colta, where the Spanish conquerors built their first settlement in Ecuador. From here, continue by diesel engine crossing colourful quinoa fields and passing indigenous villages and the remains of ancient cultures. Visit Guamote market, one of the last indigenous markets in the Andes, before continuing south to reach the spectacular Devil’s Nose for a zigzag descent from the Andes towards the coastal plains. The descent continues along the narrow Chanchán river gorge and an impressive cloud forest to reach Bucay.
Travel from Bucay to Guayaquil. The journey is characterised by changing landscapes as the train leaves the tropical forest to pass through plantantion fields of rice, sugar cane, pineapple and bananas. Lunch at a traditional hacienda in Naranjito and a chance to learn about the growing and harvesting of the cocoa bean. Onwards travel towards Guayaquil and the Pacific Ocean. On arrival at Duran station, transfer to your hotel in Guayaquil.
Day at leisure in Guayaquil for you to enjoy an optional tour of the city and a walk along the Malecon overlooking the Guayas River. Other options include a trip on ‘La Perla’ – a 187-foot high ferris wheel, a walk round the Parque Seminario – where you will see iguanas roaming around this historic park, or a trip to the Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art – home to over 50,000 artifacts from pre-Colombian Ecuador.
This Ecuador holiday can be can be varied to include an extension into the Amazon rainforest or to the Galapagos Islands. There are also options to start the journey in Guayaquil and travel up to Quito. Please give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.
The hotels included on the Tren Crucero are first class but for the absolutely best experience you can upgrade to the Gold Crucero which includes accommodation at some fabulous hotels and haciendas. Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice for your Ecuador Revealed holiday.
The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in the above sample Ecuador holiday are included but we may be able to arrange additional excursions and activities in Quito and Guayaquil at the start and end of your trip.
If you like the broad sweep of the above sample itinerary but have fewer days to spend on your Ecuador holiday, or wish to extend it in any way, please ask your Travel Consultant for ideas on how to shorten or lengthen the holiday, or how to reorganise the itinerary.
We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote for your tailor-made Ecuador holiday together with links to hotel websites, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the programme until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from your tailor-made Ecuador holiday.